B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. (Black Press Media)

B.C. takes aim at ‘shell companies’ hiding property ownership

Finance Minister Carole James says law to prevent tax evasion, money laundering

The B.C. government is changing legislation to force businesses and partnerships to disclose the actual owners of property, as part of its effort to curtail tax evasion and money laundering.

Finance Minister Carole James introduced two bills Tuesday, one to require disclosure of property owners, and another to set up a “transparency registry” to keep records up to date and curtail the use of “shell companies” to avoid identification.

“Currently companies are susceptible to being used for criminal activity, as they are able to hide the identity of the owners of the company,” James told the legislature. “The transparency register will be kept in a company’s records office, and information on it will be accessible to the police, tax authorities and regulators in investigation.”

James said the goal is to have the registry in operation by 2020, listing beneficial ownership for corporations and trusts.

The Land Owner Transparency Act will be backed up by random audits to ensure compliance, and there will be fines for failing to register.

“For years, people were able to use shell companies, trusts and partnerships to hide who really owned the property in British Columbia,” James said. “The act sets out a framework for increasing transparency of ownership in the province by requiring disclosure from corporations, trustees and partnerships about the underlying owners of land.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Talks with hereditary chiefs run into the night

Ministers expected to make statement Saturday morning

Mohawks propose temporary Indigenous police for Wet’suwet’en territory

The RCMP has already committed to ending patrols along a critical roadway

Talks with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs enter second day

Federal and provincial ministers ready to extend discussions

Wet’suwet’en herreditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Coastal GasLink agrees to two-day pause of pipeline construction in Morice River area

Work will stop once Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs begin talks with province and feds

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read